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GJM plans to collect tea tax from March 7

Within days of asking tea producers in Darjeeling to put “Made in Gorkhaland” labels on their tea packets,the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Sunday said it will begin collecting “tea tax” in the Hills from March 7 onwards.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 26, 2009 3:01:52 am

Within days of asking tea producers in Darjeeling to put “Made in Gorkhaland” labels on their tea packets,the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Sunday said it will begin collecting “tea tax” in the Hills from March 7 onwards.

Morcha secretary Roshan Giri said the tax levied on the tea producers will not put any extra burden on them.

“We want the producers to stop paying tax to the Bengal government and start paying the same amount to us. We will issue receipts against the payment and the tax money will be utilised for the development of the Darjeeling Hills,” Giri said.

March 7 will also be the deadline for labelling tea packets with “Made in Gorkhaland”,Giri added.

“We want a tea auction centre to be set up in the Hills. There will be no let up in the movement and the demand for permission to hold rallies in the Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district. We believe the rallies will unite Gorkhas and tribals in the foothills,” he said.

The standoff between the tribals and the GJM entered Day Nine on Sunday,even as the Morcha leaders continue to camp in Garubathan on the Darjeeling-Jalpaiguri border.

In a meeting on Wednesday last week between a GJM delegation and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,the Gorkhas agreed to refrain from holding rallies till normalcy is restored in the Dooars. The clashes have left over 25 policemen and 50 civilians injured.

The police said the area is still under prohibitory orders and patrolled by three companies of Central Paramilitary Forces.

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